Does it really matter what I wear to the photoshoot? YES! It’s about the people after all, not the clothes, right? YES, but outfits can make or break a photo...
It doesn’t matter how striking your photos are, if the outfits aren’t quite right it can really affect the overall look and feel of the photographs. The choice of outfit for your photoshoot is a critical factor in the preparation for a successful photo. We often display these photos in our homes, utilise them for milestone announcements and on our social media accounts, so making sure we choose an outfit we feel confident and beautiful in is essential.
Here are some recommendations and things to consider when styling you and your family for your photoshoot:
a) Time of the year - Consider The Season
This one is quite obvious, depending on the time of year will be a big factor in deciding on your outfits. Aim to coordinate your outfits with the particular season you are in.
In autumn and spring the weather can change quite fast, layers are a great way to be prepared for anything during this time. Layers also look pretty epic in photographs, so I will usually encourage layers regardless of time of year.
Summer in Australia can be pretty brutal so it’s a perfect opportunity to incorporate beautiful flowing dresses, sun hats, bare feet and pastel colours. Try to choose fabrics which are soft and breathe well. Clothes that are flowing will help create movement and dimension to your photos.
Winter fashion is my favourite! Layers, coats, boots, scarves and hats. Dark, rich colours like navy and maroon look cosy and welcoming. Add a cup of hot chocolate and an umbrella and you are set!
b) Location of the shoot – Consider your surroundings
Dress appropriately for the location of your session. A beach location lends itself to bare feet and soft, following fabrics, even incorporating some beautiful prints and pastel colours. Whereas an urban or city location compliments well with a chic and fashionista sense of style with more subdued prints or even plain coloured outfits.
If you're planning on wearing neutrals and your session is located outside, you might blend into the background instead of standing out, for example, white shirts and khaki pants at the beach are something to avoid, as you will blend into the scenery.
c) You and your style - Wear Clothes You Love
You are the lead character in your photoshoot, and while I offer advice on what to wear, I want to ensure that your choice of outfit matches your preferences and personality. So even though I have recommended some things to consider when choosing an outfit, make sure it still reflects who you are!
d) Colours - Coordinate Outfits Instead Of Matching Them
A lot of people believe the best way is to be completely matchy, while this can make beautiful photos, I always encourage my clients keep their colours complementary. Try to avoid stark contrasts such as reds/oranges and greens together but rather look at combining warm tones together or cool tones together. Bright colours also have a tendency to be distracting and reflective so I would suggest avoiding bright colours like red, bright pink and green. Stay away from big logos and picture prints on t-shirts as these draw your eyes directly to the logo or picture and away from the actual subject of the photos.
Why not try to pick three colours and mix them up as much as possible? Pinterest is full of colour pallet ideas, event to the point of pairing complementary colours and seasons!
e) Type of session – Consider your focus
Depending on the type of session you are doing could also be a factor in choosing your ideal outfits. I often recommend to my new born photoshoot clients to keep their outfits to a classic and timeless style, this means chinos, khakis, beige and blues, nature-hues, pastels, shirts, and simple dresses. This keeps the focus on the bub and the connections between mom, dad and bub, instead of being distracted by clothing.
However, for family or couples sessions florals, prints and bold colours look amazing and have a wonderful way of making images POP! Just florals, or a varied mix of prints and patterns. Pairing them with stripes can also work sometimes.
f) General considerations – all the final touches
It is always a great idea to have your make-up and hair professionally done for your photoshoot. It will make a huge difference in how you look and feel. Even though it’s a small detail, having your nails freshly manicured gives your images that polished (excuse the pun!) feel.
Accessorise! Hats, earrings, necklaces, scarves, ribbons. This is one way you could add a bit of personality into your images. It’s also a fun way to add a pop of colour.
It is preferable not to wear any glasses, reading or sunglasses. However, if your reading glasses are part of who you are, in other words, if you are like me and wear your glasses 24/7 – then keep them on.
Ladies, please no hair ties on your wrist. Gents, nothing in your pockets! I do my best to catch these on the day, but sometimes they slip through.
g) Pulling it all together
Lay out all the clothing onto a bed. This includes all accessories and even shoes. This will help you determine if there is an item that is out of place or even a gap to be filled. Feel free to send me a photo of all your clothing items and I would be more than happy to provide some advice.
But in the end, don't be afraid to go all out!
Photoshoots are a wonderful opportunity to wear something fun and flamboyant. Sequence, tulle, bowties, top hats? WHY NOT?! No matter the occasion, the important thing to remember when preparing for your shoot is to bring your personality to the fore front of the camera. Let your clothes be an extension of you, rather than the sole focus.
And most of all, HAVE FUN!